Purpose and design (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, April 09, 2017, 09:47 (862 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

DHW: However, I accept what you say about structure, and if God set it all up, then clearly he set it up to allow for variation. Eventually, we are told, it will indeed fall apart and self-destruct – even solar systems have a limited life. Meanwhile, the system allows for continual falling apart and self-destruction on a micro-level (99% of species are extinct), but life goes on as long as life goes on, regardless of what form it takes.
TONY: That 99% figure is an unprovable, unsupported speculation.

I’m not bothered about the figure. Whatever it is, the system involves destruction, by eating, extinction and, we are told, eventually by the end of our solar system. I’m not complaining, though! Just saying that what you and David like to call the balance – whether between energy supply and demand, or between chaos and order, or between creation and destruction – is constantly changing. I really don’t know what it has to do with the subject of God’s sole purpose being to produce humans and everything else being related to that – but David and I at last seem to be reaching agreement on this thorny topic.

DHW: David wants to know if you think God is in control. If God exists, I myself have no doubt that the system we have is the system he wants. The question then would be the extent to which he gives organisms the ability and freedom to control their own way of life: that applies just as much to their coping with or exploiting the environment as to humans choosing whether to be nice or nasty to one another.
TONY: I do not think there is one right answer to that question. Yes, God is in control, but that does not mean he exercises that control at all times.

I’ll leave out your parent child image, as I think David’s concern – and certainly my own – is more with the control your God exercises over the course of evolution.

TONY: As far as evolution goes, the evidence indicates that it is dependent on the life form. Humans have more freedom than animals, who're are driven by more tightly constrained instinct. In all cases our genetic make up is tightly controlled, constrained, and self-correcting within those constraints.

Sorry, my post wasn’t clear, as my reference to human choice was misleading. You have said that you “do not believe in macroevolution, i.e. speciation. I have no issue at all with variations on a species...” David goes a lot further. He believes that his God specifically designs such variants as the weaverbird’s nest, the fly’s compound eye, the monarch butterfly’s migration. Wearing my theist’s hat, I am more inclined to think that God may have given organisms the autonomous intelligence to work out their own variations and lifestyles. It boils down to borderlines, and of course whatever one believes has important ramifications for one’s image of a Creator God and his possible purposes. That’s why I’m interested (David too, I think) in your views concerning the extent of your God’s control over the course of evolution.

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